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Neuroscience Journal
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6127340, 20 pages
Research Article

Cerebral Blood Flow, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure Patterns during the Tilt Test in Common Orthostatic Syndromes

Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02130, USA

Received 22 February 2016; Revised 28 April 2016; Accepted 25 May 2016

Academic Editor: Rainer Surges

Copyright © 2016 Peter Novak. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The head-up tilt test is widely used for evaluation of orthostatic intolerance. Although orthostatic symptoms usually reflect cerebral hypoperfusion, the cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) profile in orthostatic syndromes is not well described. This study evaluated CBFv and cardiovascular patterns associated with the tilt test in common orthostatic syndromes. Methods. This retrospective study analyzed the tilt test of patients with history of orthostatic intolerance. The following signals were recorded: ECG, blood pressure, CBFv using transcranial Doppler, respiratory signals, and end tidal CO2. Results. Data from 744 patients were analyzed. Characteristic pattern associated with a particular orthostatic syndrome can be grouped into abnormalities predominantly affecting blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic hypertension syndrome, vasomotor oscillations, and neurally mediated syncope—cardioinhibitory, vasodepressor, and mixed), cerebral blood flow (orthostatic hypoperfusion syndrome, primary cerebral autoregulatory failure), and heart rate (tachycardia syndromes: postural tachycardia syndrome, paroxysmal sinus tachycardia, and inappropriate sinus tachycardia). Psychogenic pseudosyncope is associated with stable CBFv. Conclusions. The tilt test is useful add-on in diagnosis of several orthostatic syndromes. However diagnostic criteria for several syndromes had to be modified to allow unambiguous pattern classification. CBFv monitoring in addition to blood pressure and heart rate may increase diagnostic yield of the tilt test.